Things got a bit awkward over at LAX airport last week for one Real Housewives star. Erika Jayne was returning home from a Hawaiian vacation alongside co-stars Diana Jenkins and Lisa Rinna when she got served with ever more legal papers at the baggage claim. The docs pertain to a $50 million lawsuit that now alleges the 50-year-old had committed racketeering and other crimes in conjunction with her ex-husband Tom Girardi and his disgraced Girardi & Keese law firm. Amidst the hoopla, Erika Jayne had detailed the ”shame” of her situation during the latest episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills aptly titled “Beverly Hills Blackout.”
The episode aired on July 27 on Bravo, but the footage in question actually dates back to last year’s Christmas holidays. Newcomer on the show Diana Jenkins, who has also gotten into some feuding of her own with Sutton Stracke of late, hosted a Christmas party where all her RHOBH castmates were invited. Kathy Hilton showed up (finally) after a slight hiatus due to her daughter Paris Hilton’s wedding planning and festivities. A heavily inebriated Erika Jayne tried to explain why she didn’t attend that big shindig despite being invited, saying,
Erika Jayne was referring to the intense scrutiny surrounding her connection to Tom Girardi and his L.A. law firm that supposedly embezzled millions meant for clients and partners. The new $50 million lawsuit in fact comes from several survivors and remaining family members of a plane crash who were clients of the firm and who allegedly never received settlement funds. The RHOBH alum is tangled up in this because her entertainment company, EJ Global, is accused of funneling those funds to it.
Her recent comments to Kathy Hilton mark one of the few and far between times that she has admitted feelings about the predicament. Before this, Erika Jayne has only denied the culpability accusations leveled against her and even claimed in this Season 12 that some (or possibly even all) of the complaints might be unfounded pending further investigation. In this case, she's admitted that she skipped the wedding because of the cloud that's hung over her head in recent months.
The former Broadway star had been drinking on the night of the Christmas party episode. After interrupting the host mid-song and making some laxative remarks to Crystal Kung Minkoff after she had just opened up about her ongoing eating disorder struggle, Erika Jayne’s co-stars began to talk fervently about her having a “drinking problem.” Kyle Richards was uncomfortable throwing that kind of verbiage around, especially given the troubled history with her sister’s sobriety on the show. But Minkoff called the behavior “out of control” and Garcelle Beauvais was firm that they all can’t be in “denial” about what they see going on.
Lisa Rinna ultimately spearheaded an intervention of sorts the next day with her longtime friend. Erika Jayne confessed that when she went home after the party, she not only hit her head but also vomited, adding that it was essentially “the fallout” of the Tom Girardi scandal taking its toll on her. Rinna responded,
The legally embattled TV personality claimed she was going to change as a result of the snafu. Diana Jenkin’s event was technically her second strike, as she already went on a major bender previously at Garcelle Beauvais’ birthday party – where she hit on one of Beauvais’ sons and told the other (teenage) one to literally fuck off. It isn’t clear as of yet though if that or some other reason is the impetus behind the off-season feud between Beauvais and Erika Jayne taking up headlines in the present.
Bravo beef aside, Erika Jayne has more serious matters on her plate to contend with still. On top of the $50 million suit, she’s also being sued by Nicolas Cage’s ex for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Likewise, there remains the problem of her owing more than $2 million to the IRS and a (smaller but no less serious) $5 million suit from others who claim to have not gotten paid by Tom Girardi either.
We know so far from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that Erika Jayne plans to help her situation a bit by hopefully not getting fully divorced from Tom Girardi anytime soon. She alleged in a different episode that while they as a couple are legally separated, she now technically makes more money than Girardi and would owe him substantial alimony if a divorce indeed went through. Obviously, she might need that supposed hefty Bravo paycheck for these other, more pressing, legal woes here soon…
Stay tuned for what more Erika Jayne has to say about her situation on the RHOBH, which airs new episodes on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo and next day with Peacock Premium!
Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.
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